My husband and I have been Harley-Davidson motorcycle enthusiasts since the day we met.
Pre-baby, a typical family outing for us was a motorcycle adventure with our 2 dogs in tow behind one of our motorcycles.
After our baby arrived, our motorcycle excursions were put on a brief hold and we had to find something we could do as a family.
We had always wanted to get another Jeep since selling our last one several years ago. My husband found a great deal on a 1994 Jeep Wrangler YJ. Soon after we purchased it, we started exploring our Great Smoky Mountain backyard in East Tennessee.
There are so many places we can go as a Jeep family in the Smokies that we simply couldn’t get to on a motorcycle.
And we’re not alone… Over 9 million visitors come here from all over the world each year to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountain views.
The best part: When exploring East Tennessee in a Jeep, you can enjoy 360 panoramic views as long as you can find the forest service roads to get on top of some of these mountains!
Jeep Dog & Jeep Baby Must-Have Items
These are a few of our must-have items when Jeeping with 2 dogs and a baby…
General Items For Jeeping:
- Full tank of gas – We never know where our adventure will take us, so we want to have enough fuel to get there.
- Cooler bag – We like to stay hydrated and energized for our family adventures, so we pack our Arctic Zone Titan 30 Can Insulated Sport Tote with ice, water & snacks. Plus, we never know if we will get stranded in remote locations.
- Portable car jump starter & phone charger – We use this one. It works great to charge our phones, use as a flashlight, or jump a dead Jeep battery. The compact lithium battery pack holds its charge and will not drain while not in use.
- Emergency flat tire repair – We carry the Smart Spair Slime Tire Repair Kit — it’s compact, and it includes sealant and air to replace the spare.
- CB radio – A CB is a great way to communicate with other jeeps or potentially call for help in remote areas. We use the Uniden Pro 520XL 40-channel CB radio.
- Aspirin – Handy to have to nip a migraine in the butt if you feel one coming on. There’s nothing worse than having a headache while trying to enjoy the great outdoors. We like the Excedrin Migraine geltabs.
- Small first aid kit – It’s a good thing to have the basics when you’re out in the woods. We carry the First Aid Only all-purpose first aid kit.
- Small tool kit – You just never know when you’ll need what. We keep a handful of small tools in our Jeep at all times.
- Bungee straps – Medium-sized bungee cords come in handy to secure baby item bags and dog item bags inside the Jeep.
- Roll of toilet paper – When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go!
- Paper towels – For random clean-up jobs.
- GPS unit – We use our Road Tech Zumo GPS to see upcoming service road options as we explore and try to get lost.
- Insect repellent – We like Bug Soother, an all-natural bug spray that smells great, bugs hate it, and it’s safe for baby and dogs too.
- Selfie stick – To capture those epic family photos with panoramic views in the background. We use the Kungfuren Bluetooth Selfie Stick – it has a super long battery life (50 hours) and a built-in remote camera shutter that works great with our iPhones.
- Folding chairs with drink holders – It’s great to have at least 1 for this nursing mama. We really like our Timber Ridge Smooth Glide lightweight padded folding chairs,
- Koozies – For your cold water/beverage of choice. These Jeep koozies are fun!
- Sunscreen – You need protection from the sun when hiking away from your Jeep. Just be sure to choose a sunscreen that’s safe for babies too.
For The Jeep Baby:
- Diaper bag – To hold all baby items safe and accessible.
- Diapers – We do elimination communication, but we still use a diaper back up.
- Baby wipes – Great for baby and general use to wipe your hands in the woods. We use Pampers sensitive skin diaper wipes.
- Rear facing car seat – In Tennessee, the infant must be at least 1 year old and 20+ pounds before they can ride forward facing. We use the Britax B-Safe 35 infant car seat.
- Sun hat – A sun hat protects baby’s head from the sun if we’re hiking away from the Jeep.
- Extra change of baby clothing – Blowouts happen! (These Jeep baby clothes are fun.)
- Stroller – We use the ErgoBaby 360 baby carrier because it provides awesome back support that evenly distributes baby’s weight. (It’s one of the 10 baby things that I use almost every day with my baby!)
- Pacifier – We like the Nuby Plush Pacifinders because they’re soft and have a toy/pacifier tether with rattle. It’s just a little something for baby entertainment in the car seat — and it stays within baby’s reach at all times.
- Patio furniture cushion – A big cushion like this makes a great changing pad anywhere you go!
- Multi-functional cover/wrap – This Milk Snob wrap works great to block out light if baby is napping in car seat, provides modesty while nursing, and can be used as a baby blanket too. It’s soft and stretchy and can also be used as a car seat cover, a shopping cart cover, or a highchair cover!
- Baby food – I breastfeed my baby, so his mobile milk bar (me) goes everywhere he goes. I don’t pack any food for him right now, but obviously that will change when he gets older. (When he’s nursing while Jeeping, he gets a milkshake!)
For The Jeep Dogs:
- Dog collars with ID tags – Just in case they wander too far, make sure that your contact info is readable and correct on the dog ID tags.
- Dog leash – The Sporn double dog leash is a handy dog leash for 2 dogs. It’s perfect when we’re walking our 2 dogs and we end up on a public trail.
- Pinch/prong collars – We use the Hamilton prong training slip collar. It prevents our dogs from pulling when they’re on the leash.
- Pet waste bags – We like to be responsible pet owners and clean up after our dogs. We use Gorilla Supply pet poop bags.
- Water bowl – It’s important to keep the dogs hydrated too!
- Scooby snacks – Our dogs like Beggin Strips and Pupperonies
- Extra beach towels – In case the dogs get into something nasty.
- Dog toys – I can’t throw a ball very well, but the Chuck-it ball launcher helps me throw the ball farther during play time with my dogs.
The Bottom Line
Having the Jeep has been a great investment for us!
We love to escape the busyness of our lives by Jeeping into remote locations which disconnect us from the Internet and our phones — and reconnect us with nature.
Not only do we use our Jeep as a vehicle to spend time together as a family, but I use it too for a chance to get out of the house for some quiet time. The humming of the tires always puts my baby right to sleep, and the dogs are always happy to go anywhere!
If you don’t already have one, I definitely recommend getting a Jeep for your family to enjoy together.
I’m a first-time mom. I work from home and write — mostly about my quest for time- and sanity-saving techniques as a new mom. I also like to share details about the alternative choices I’m exploring, as I enjoy this journey called motherhood. My family includes a newborn, 2 teenage stepchildren (who live with their mom), 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a wonderful husband. My pre-pregnancy life was full of freedom and adventure, so I have a fresh new perspective when it comes to having a small tiny human by my side 24/7!